Friday February 24, 2006

Well, I am trying the tea that I bought from Athélier. Yes, that “Monkey Picked Oolong”. I tried it out there in a paper cup, but as you probably know, what it tastes like in paper cup is nothing like what it actually comes out as when you brew the tea properly.

The tea is a medium-fire oolong, so it is somewhere between qingxiang (or literally, clear fragrance) and nongxiang (dense fragrance). Qingxiang leaves are generally very green, and the liquor will come out a nice greenish yellow. The tea itself has flowery taste (but should NOT have flowers) and is somewhat light and crisp. Nongxiang, on the other hand, is heavy, the brew will be a darker brown, the tea may be slightly bitter, and if it’s not very good, a little sour. Really good nongxiang or qingxiang are both hard to get. The problem is that oftentimes they are somewhere in between. This is probably mostly because the general public like something that’s in between — not too heavy, not too light. There are merits to that too, and sometimes it is very nice. It’s just not all the time, and when you want to search out for a truly exception qingxiang tieguanyin, for example, it is extremely difficult.

Hopefully, with my upcoming trip to Beijing, I can do that and find some nice tea to bring back with me. Ahhhh…


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